Dear Black Parents, You Need To Stop Doing These 13 Things

Dear Black Parents, You Need To Stop Doing These 13 Things

8. Perceiving dissenting opinions as disrespect.
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We all know there are fundamental differences between raising black children and raising white children. But black parents really do some of the most bizarre and damaging things. Here is an incomplete list of things black parents really need to stop doing to their children.

1. Requiring us to contribute financially while we are still in our teen years and early twenties.

Many black parents, especially, encourage their children to start working as soon as they are the legal age too. That in itself is not usually a problem.

Where the issue comes in is when black parents funnel most, if not all, of their children income into their own. My first year out of high school was also my first year working, my mother took every last penny I made. I wasn't able to save. Not for a car, not for college, not for new clothes. Nothing.



2. Using public embarrassment as punishment.

We've all seen those viral photos of black parents giving their sons the "old man haircut," when they've gone to school and showed their ass by trying to "act grown" and they are hilarious... on the surface.

SEE ALSO: Having A Mental Illness Is So Much Different When You're Black

But public humiliation not only makes your child a target for bullying but can cause undue stress and lead to low self-esteem. Whatever happened to just spanking, sending us to bed without dinner or taking away our electronics for a weekend?

3. Threatening our lives.

First of all, it's counterproductive. Second of all, it's emotional abuse. If a husband did it to a wife, everyone would tell her to get out of the marriage. If someone did it to a co-worker, they'd probably be terminated, best case.

Worst case, the police would be called. So, why is it less harmful to do it to your own child?

4. Beating and physically abusing us.

Discipline is a big thing in black households. Belts, switches and big ass spoons are very familiar to the rear ends of many black children.

But some parents take it too far. I can remember at one point growing up my mom forcefully dragging me out of the car kicking and screaming and leaving me on the side of the road in the middle of the night for not responding to her in a conversation quick enough. Then when I finally made it home after a 10-minute walk, throwing a glass at my head upon walking through the door.

Was this really justified?

Now, spanking is one thing. A belt to the back of the legs is one thing. But beating your child is an entirely different animal. It's abuse. Stop teaching us that love and physical pain go hand in hand.

5. Discouraging us from pursuing the arts.

While the arts can oftentimes be a hard business to get into, it can also be very lucrative. Whether it's singing, writing, or directing, there are tons of avenues into the business, especially in 2017. Not to say you shouldn't encourage a backup plan, but life is too short and too sad to stand in the way of your children's creativity or dreams.

6. Partaking in homophobia and encouraging violence towards the LGBTQ community.

Homophobia is rampant in the black community, especially for the Caribbean community. This is something that probably won't change for a long while seeing as how the traumatic roots of black homophobia can be traced back to slavery.

SEE ALSO: 10 Things Black Kids Experience Growing Up In White Communities

However, this isn't so to say that the way the black community, in general, treats the LGBTQ community is at all justified. Many black people use the Bible to spread hate as if God didn't specifically tell us to love our neighbors as ourselves and leave all judgment to Him.

You don't have to condone the feelings others have about their own sexuality, you just need to mind your business.

7. Not allowing us to have emotions.

Black children are often not allowed to have emotions other than happiness or contentment about anything. The slightest of emotions are often shut down. In fact, black parents love to compete with their children. "Oh, you cryin' cus you scraped your knee? Boy, get up! I'm cryin' cus I got all these bills!"

And God forbid you slam a door out of anger.

8. Perceiving dissenting opinions as disrespect.

Black children really aren't allowed to have opinions outside of their parents' opinions.

Point. Blank. Period.

And bless your heart if any of your opinions on religion don't reflect those of your parents. There's no way you don't know this stifles your child's mental growth. It's one thing to want to shape your children, but what happens when they grow and realize they have no sense of self and can't get one because they have like zero original thoughts?

9. Not allowing us to have any personal space.

I wish I could have said the words "personal space" in my mom's house. There is nothing wrong with giving your children some alone time with their thoughts. You know you need it to stay sane, why would you assume your children don't?

10. Continuously using explicit language.

You have to know children watch everything you do and repeat everything you say. Set an example.

11. Pretending that you're never wrong and not apologizing when you are, in fact, dead wrong.

One thing every black millennial knows is that black parents don't apologize... for anything. Literally, nothing is their fault, ever. And there is not one time in the history of their life as a parent that they have ever been wrong.

A black mom could leave a pot on the stove, burn down the entire block and then have the nerve to blame her children for asking for some Easy Mac. Often times growing up, my mom would jump the gun and punish me for something I didn't do and upon realizing I was an innocent party, just go on living life like she didn't just mollywop my edges off. Just say sorry, sometimes.

12. Making us call everyone auntie or uncle.

Everyone is not our auntie or uncle and you really should be more careful about who you let around your children. Which leads me to my final point...

13. Ignoring sexual abuse and shaming your daughters.

That inappropriate cousin that flirts with all the ladies (including blood relatives) is nasty and should really not continuously be invited to family gatherings where children are present and you know it. Those uncles that you have that make you feel like you need to tell your teen daughters to put on longer pants or cover up with a jacket are predators and should not be invited to the house.

And when your daughter tells that your husband makes her sit on his lap when they are alone together, believe her.

She did not seduce your man and he needs to be in jail.


Feel free to add any that I have missed in the comment section below.

Cover Image Credit: Nathaniel Tetteh

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People always look for the American dream. The big houses. The white picket fences. The perfect families. But, there are signs you are going to be a bomb suburban mom.

1. The future you is already planned

You are a planner. You have pretty much everything planned out. You have a Pinterest board with items for your wedding. You have thought about where you want to live. Your ideal future includes a second home, a country club membership and probably a Range Rover.

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See also: 5 Thoughts Every Girl, Even Queen Bey, Has When She Walks Down The Aisles Of Target

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I'm Going To Raise My Kids The Way My Parents Raised Me

I am who I am today because of my parents, and I want to teach my kids everything my parents taught me.
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My parents have done SO much for me, and that's only an understatement. They have provided me with so much care and love in addition to all the materialistic things and I will forever be indebted to them for all of that. I guess one way I can make up for it is to be a good parent to my kids and pass along the values and morals that my parents passed onto me. I can only hope that I will be as good of a parent to my kids as my parents were to me.

Even as a child, my parents were never strict with me. They were strict enough that I was not wild and rude, but they gave me freedom that other kids (especially Indian kids) would have longed for, and that to me meant a lot. Even as I started middle school and high school, my parents were very lenient. It's not like I did anything bad to begin with, but they trusted me to do the right thing. They let me hang out with my friends when I wanted but made sure I knew my priorities at the same time.

Other kids' parents would yell at them and punish them for getting even one bad grade but my parents told me to just work harder next time and gave me advice on how to improve. I wasn't studying or trying to get good grades to avoid getting yelled at by my parents, I was doing it to make my parents proud of me and my achievements. There's a difference.

Both my parents grew up in small, impoverished villages in India where education was not as important or prominent. Yet they worked hard and studied while other kids their age didn't. My dad got a degree in engineering and married my mom and they were both able to move to America. My mom got a degree in accounting and then later in the medical field as a physician's assistant.

Five years of not working after my younger brother was born, she studied day and night in the field of IT and landed her first job in a couple months at a bank. Both my parents have worked so hard to provide everything that their kids (my brother and I) have needed or wanted, and that is so admirable. I cannot even imagine the struggles they had to go through to get from living a relatively poor life in a small village in India to having a middle-class life in the United States.

All their endeavors and accomplishments serve as motivation for me to live up to everything they did in whatever way I possibly can. They taught me that working hard is the only way to live a good life in this world and to become something, have a purpose in life.

Aside from all that, they taught me to be a good person. They taught me to help people when they need it and to always be kind to people because we never know when we might need their help too. They taught me a lot about my culture and religion and to appreciate all of it and understand it all in ways that many people can't. They taught me a whole language, and not only to speak it but to write and read it too.

That is so hard to do especially when a child is brought up in a country where English is the main language and where that is the only language they are to speak outside of home. I cannot thank them enough for that. Teaching a language, culture, and religion is something that is not easy to do, especially to a child.

Every personality and physical trait has somehow been influenced by my parents and I am who I am today because of them. I will continue to follow in their footsteps and only hope to pass everything they have taught me along to my kids in the future.

Cover Image Credit: Avni Gundaliya

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